Rise of Bushwacker: PBR 2011 World Champion Bucking Bull
Bushwacker: the bull everyone is talking about. The seven-year-old American Bucking Bull currently holds the record for most consecutive buck-offs in the Professional Bull Rider, Inc.’s (PBR) history with an impressive 42 straight buck-offs in Built Ford Tough Series events.
The 1,600-pound bull, owned by Julio Moreno of Julio Moreno Bucking Bulls and trained by Kent Cox, has had a wildly successful career. His first out at a Touring Pro event in 2009 was scored at an amazing 48.00. While he bucked consistently, the bull didn’t hit his stride until 2011 as a 5-year-old; with the last time he earned a score under 45.00 having been in September of 2011.
So far this year, Bushwacker’s average score has been a whopping 47.32 points. The average time that the top bull riders in the world are staying on him is a mere 2.90 seconds. He’s bucked everyone except for Valdiron de Oliveira – who lasted 5.26 seconds before he was Bushwakced – off in less than 3.5 seconds.
“Bushwacker’s the rankest bull I’ve ever put my bull rope on and I’ve been riding professionally for 12 years in the PBR,” said Luke Snyder during the video feature ‘You’ve got to go for all the glory’ that the PBR put out for the Iron Cowboy event last year.
Bushwacker has been ridden twice in his career – once at a Touring Pro event by Marcus Mariluch in for 88.00 points and once at a Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) event by Thiago Paguioto for 89.75 points. Both rides were made in 2009, which was the bull’s first year with mounted outs. Since then, many have tried to conquer the 2012 World Champion Bucking Bull, and all have failed including three past PBR World Champions – Silvano Alves, Mike Lee and Ednai Caminhas. They were all “Bushwacked” in less than four seconds.
J.B. Mauney has ridden him the longest at 7.22 seconds in Arlington, TX last year, and has attempted to ride Bushwacker eight different times. Each time, the bull left the arena the victor.
So what makes this bull so special? Why is everyone talking about him? The New York Times described him as a “Ballerina with Hooves.” PBR Livestock Director Cody Lambert described him as Muhammad Ali in a video the PBR put out in May.
Bushwacker’s style puts him on a level of his own. He launches out of the bucking chute with incredible forward momentum and doesn’t wait for his hind feet to hit the ground before he’s already pushing off of his front feet for the next buck. Each trip he has is slightly different than his last trip. He’s an extremely smart bull that feels out each rider’s weaknesses and adjusts his bucking accordingly.
“This bull can just simply do things that other bulls cannot do,” said nine-time world champion Ty Murray during the U.S. Air Force Invitational in Pueblo, Colo., in 2011 after Dustin Elliott’s attempt to ride Bushwacker.
One of Bushwacker’s best qualities is how calm he is in the bucking chute. Last year’s World Champion bull, Asteroid (owned by Circle T Ranch & Rodeo) has been known to be “hot in the chute,” meaning that the bull will buck inside of the bucking chute. When Bushwacker enters the chute, he can be observed standing almost perfectly still as if wanting to give the guys a fair shot at him.
“He’ll stand in that chute like a show calf and you can definitely tell you’re not intimidating him at all,” said Cord McCoy in the ‘You’ve got to go for all the glory’ video.
He’s a well-mannered bull once after he tosses bull riders like ragdolls as well. Once the rider is off, Bushwacker can be observed trotting back and forth in front of the out gate until it is opened. He seems to know his job and exits graciously once it is done.
Bushwacker has also overcome adversity. In 2011, it was discovered that he had bone spurs in both hind legs. These were subsequently operated on and removed in January 2012. His return to the Built Ford Tough Series was at the 2012 Dickie’s Iron Cowboy in Arlington where he scored a 46.00.
At just seven years old, this powerhouse has a lot of good years left to buck. Bushwacker is in the prime of his life, and if this season’s scores are anything to judge by, he’s just going to get better. It seems as if this bull has his eyes on the prize and wants to reclaim the Bucking Bull of the Year title he won in 2011.